I believe that children are our future. Which is great because they are basically everywhere. Everywhere you look, kids are kiddin’ around, just kiddin’ up the joint. Kids are amazing. They’re fun and hilarious and haven’t yet started writing political essays on Facebook. In many ways, kids are the best. But here is one way in which kids are the worst: When they are characters on TV shows. Sorry, but facts are facts.
Unless a TV show is about childhood, none of us truly need to see a child talking with a grownup about anything. For one thing, TV dramas love to put children in peril — which, as savvy TV watchers, we know is the emptiest of empty threats. The hero’s child is not going to die, and how dare you make me think that’s even a possibility. Even worse, I truly do not ever need to see another grown adult take a knee and speak condescendingly to a moppet with an impractical haircut. That scenario is not doing anybody any favors. It would be one thing if adult TV writers knew how to write child characters (i.e. children who do not knowingly comment on their parents’ love lives), but 100 percent of them don’t. Knock it off, people trying to make child characters interesting. That goes doubly for you, Containment.
Aside from there being about four child characters too many, this week’s episode of Containment was actually quite gripping and good. “A Kingdom Divided Against Itself” was the week we finally got that long-promised street riot (as depicted in the pilot’s flash-forward). And though it ended nearly as quickly as it began, the sheer terror and chaos of it all provided a quick surge of adrenaline to a show that really should be doling it out more regularly. Plus, in a genuinely affecting turn of events, Katie went and exposed herself to the virus! And only hours after she won over our hearts with a gorgeous guitar ballad. Life just isn’t fair sometimes.
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Listen, riots are complicated by nature. Everyone’s running around screaming, throwing things, looting, and behaving like angry, scared jerks. But in “A Kingdom Divided Against Itself,” the episode’s central riot created additional complications for our beloved characters — first and foremost for Teresa and Xander, who believed they’d spotted her mom walking among the protesters. But only minutes later, Xander had been touched by an infected man, and Teresa had been pushed to the ground and couldn’t get up. Hero that he is, Xander was about 10 seconds away from dragging Teresa across the cordon on a dumpster lid, but a hatchet-wielding Jana intercepted them on her way to find Suzy a pregnancy test. Because yep, Suzy was pregnant and her hormones made her want to join the riot for some reason. Stay in your office park, Suzy!
Next: It gets worse